LibreOffice gives OpenOffice a run for its Money

Sun, Feb 27, 2011

OpenOffice and its curiously similarly named counterpart LibreOffice are officially neck-in-neck. Despite Oracle's backing of OpenOffice, LibreOffice is still kicking, and recently received over $68,000 in funding -- in just eight days.

The fundraising effort from LibreOffice maker Ubuntu was short, sweet, and everything they need for now. Their over 2,000 donors raised enough money to serve as capital for setting up the Document Foundation, a goal to become a legal entity in Germany.

The newest release of LibreOffice 3.3.1 has eliminated the bugs and crashes that were discovered in the previous Linux, Windows, and Mac OS X versions. There are also colorful new icons to help the visual appeal of the program, giving it a visual leg-up on their competition. And they operate in multiple languages. If LibreOffice wasn't outperforming OpenOffice already there are two more releases scheduled, one in a month and then again in early May, although details have not been released yet.

So far LibreOffice is leaping ahead of OpenOffice in terms of:

* A far more visually impressive dashboard.
* Less cross-platform compatibility issues.
* A better thesaurus.
* Crisper fonts.
* Support for more than a dozen languages.
* Better import features.
* Excel compatibility including the ability to use the new formula dialog and default syntax formulas.

LibreOffice is off to a great start, and already has already passed what OpenOffice has achieved over its decade of existence. The only question now is, will LibreOffice finally take a piece of the MS Office pie.